Some artists transcend every label applied to musical talent. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter isn’t a performer. She is a phenomenon. Once one third of the talented trio, Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé has transformed herself into something much more than a pop star. She doesn’t do concerts. She gives fans an experience. And her new concert documentary, “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé,” proves that a ticket to see Beyoncé is a passport to another world.
“Homecoming” primarily focuses on the singer’s headlining show at the 2018 Coachella Music Festival in the California desert. The concert was so popular that the hashtag #Beychella was inescapable on social media as crying fans shared their experiences. Now, this documentary takes fans right onto the stage alongside Beyoncé and some 200 dancers and musicians. Every moment of the performance makes it into the documentary, which was written, directed, and produced by Knowles-Carter herself.
Using the footage from both weekends, Knowles-Carter and editor Alexander Hammer expertly craft both nights into one, seamless event. Doing so shows off the skill and perfection she and her performers worked months to hone.
In between sections of the concert, we get an inside look at some of those months of preparation. Beyoncé opens up about the fact that she was supposed to have opened Coachella in 2017, but had to cancel due to her pregnancy with twins. She talks about health challenges during that pregnancy and her fears that she could never get back to the level of performance she had once achieved.
She shows off her incredibly talented backup dancers and singers and shares some of the search for her orchestra and drum line. Every piece of the show had Beyoncé’s hand in it. She tells viewers that every move, every note, and every sequin has significance. Unfortunately, she never explains the significance of any of those elements. She relies on the fans to simply trust her that these things matter. And, of course, the fans will trust her. Because the Bey-hive is nothing if not fiercely loyal.
Such is the magic of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. She may be called Queen, but she has built an empire. The thousands of screaming, crying, and fainting people in the desert last spring can attest to her power. “Homecoming” is a celebration of those fans, and it is a rallying cry. Watching this documentary, it is easy to see why she is so beloved. This film may be a bit self-indulgent, but she has worked hard to get where she is. She celebrates the honor of being the first black woman ever to headline at Coachella. It is a moment she spent years building to. And now she is unstoppable.
In the end, “Homecoming” is a concert film. What makes it something more is Beyoncé herself. Her charisma is captivating. Fans will adore the film. New fans will discover her. And her next album – also hitting today – will break even more records. It truly is a homecoming for a woman who once thought she might never be able to perform again.